Go back to article: From 2D to 3D: the story of graphene in objects

Nobel Prize replicas

Figure 2

Colour photograph of a nobel prize medal replica

Replica of Nobel medal, 2010. Nobel laureates can order up to three replicas in gold-plated bronze in addition to the one original Nobel medal in 18-carat gold that is awarded to them individually. The inscription reads Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes, which translates as ‘They who bettered life on Earth by their newly found mastery’. On loan from Professor Andre Geim and Professor Konstantin Novoselov

The next key ingredient in the graphene origin story is the Nobel Prize. The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov ‘for ground breaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene’ (Nobelprize.org, 2010). Although their approach to isolating graphene was playful, there is no award taken more seriously than the Nobel Prize. As a direct result of the relationship developed with Geim and Novoselov, the Museum was able to borrow their personal Nobel medal replicas. We know that visitors greatly appreciate seeing the ‘real thing’. Nobel medals are widely recognisable both physically and conceptually, and the fact that these are the personal replicas of the prize winners, displayed alongside reproduced photos of them proudly accepting their prizes makes the display feel more personal and engaging.

Evaluation on the exhibition completed by the Science Museum Group Visitor Insight team reported that ‘In terms of visitors’ favourite parts of the exhibition, a lot of the content and layout came in for praise, including the story of the Nobel Prize winners, the recreation of the lab with the “real-life” touches, and even the roll of sticky tape’ (SMG document, Tim Neal, Visitor Insight Manager, 4 April 2017). The fact that the Nobel Prize winners and the role of sticky tape were two of the three favourite parts of the exhibition for visitors suggests that leading with these objects was impactful for visitors and played a role in engaging them with the story of graphene.

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/181004/004